Sometimes the Earth surprises me. Sometimes the concrete jungle gets a tight grip on me and I forget about the simple beauty the earth offers up so freely. When this sudden awareness jolts me awake, I know its time to turn back to nature and set off for some exploration. Getting out of the city and hiking in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve was like transportation straight into tranquility.
The nature reserve is some 90km from Cape Town and a great way to escape the city. Entrance the the reserve is a mere R40 for adults (about $3). The drive from the city is a scenic trip on the edge of africa providing spectacular views of the coast line.
We reached our destination and immediately I felt like I was transported into a fantasy world deep inside the mountains. I remember feeling quite small venturing along the Palmiet River and into the heart of the mountain valleys. There are multiple hiking trails to choose from depending on experience. We took the river trail with multiple secret spots perfect for a quick swim. The vast quietness of nature forces you to live the moment and be fully aware of your surroundings. The fynbos, small insects and butterflies and the hope of seeing the footprint of a leopard on the river edge makes for calm but exciting exploration.
The best way is to start early and walk at a leisurely pace. Stop in between for a small picnic with coffee and snacks before continuing further. Our final destination was a small hidden beach created by the low tide for a relaxing break and swim in the icy fresh water. This hike is perfect on an early autumn morning when the temperatures don’t rise as quickly and high as in mid-summer. This can easily be done as a day trip from Cape Town at minimal costs.
What to take:
- Good hiking shoes
- Strong sunblock and a hat
- Swimming clothes if weather permits
- Water, snacks
How to get there: Drive from Cape Town on the N2 highway towards Gordon’s Bay, then take the R44 turn off and follow the coastal road until you reach the entrance to the reservation about 7km before Kleinmond.
Places to see close by includes Betty’s Bay and the Penguin sanctuary located there , Kleinmond, Pringle Bay, Hermanus.